|Marq Lewis of "We The People Oklahoma"|
Mr. Lewis and his organization are being honored for their efforts to call attention to police violence as well as misconduct in the office of the Tulsa County Sheriff.(Nominated by Rep. Seneca Scott)
On December 10th, the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance will honor human rights heroes from Tulsa, Henryetta, McLoud, Chickasha, Oklahoma City, and beyond. A recognition program will take place at the State Capitol, in the chamber of the state House of Representatives. More information about the program can be found here: "Celebrate Human Rights."
Oklahoma Human Rights Commission (which was abolished after Governor Mary Fallin took office in 2011).
Since 2012, the Human Rights Alliance -- a non-profit, non-partisan, all-volunteer organization -- has recognized Oklahomans who, through their voice and action, have helped to illustrate the importance of human rights in our state. (A listing of previous winners of the award can be found here: 2012, 2013, 2014).
This year, our list of winners will include more than a dozen organizations and individuals who have helped to support human rights where we live.
The first of our 2015 winners to be announced is Marq Lewis and "We The People Oklahoma."
Mr. Lewis and his organization are being honored for their efforts to call attention to police violence as well as misconduct in the office of the Tulsa County Sheriff.
On Facebook, the members of We The People Oklahoma are described as, "...Community activists, expressing our First Amendment Rights."
Marq Lewis felt compelled to form We The People Oklahoma in 2014 after attending a vigil for 19-year-old Jeremey Lake, who was shot and killed allegedly by an off-duty Tulsa police officer whose daughter Lake had been dating.
In 2015, after the death of another man during an arrest by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, Lewis organized a successful petition drive for a grand jury investigation. Sheriff Stanley Glanz ultimately resigned from office after indictments were issued by the grand jury.
“A lot of times what happens in a police brutality situation is they have one rally or one vigil and then drop it. That’s not social justice,” Lewis says. “Social justice is a continual form of pressure to create this atmosphere, this awakening from the community.”
Marq Lewis is celebrated for his positive energy, leadership, and enthusiasm.
The Frontier (the online website of "illuminating journalism") notes that, "While other cities have erupted with violence over controversial shootings of unarmed black men, these marches in Tulsa have remained peaceful, despite real anger over revelations of alleged corruption in Glanz’s office."
In the News:
"Marching for justice: The leader behind Tulsa’s grassroots group trying to oust Sheriff"
The Frontier, 6/22/2015
"Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association."--Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law."
--Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights